Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Alright back to #Ferguson

Last night tempers flared again in Ferguson, Missouri. Over the past summer a teenager - Michael Brown - had been shot and killed by a police officer named Darren Wilson. While I don't know all the facts Brown was apparently unarmed and I saw pictures yesterday of Wilson's injuries that were afflicted by Brown.

I erred on the side of Michael Brown scuffled with Officer Wilson for certain and during the scuffle apparently Wilson felt the need to discharge his weapon. It definitely bothered me that Brown being unarmed was shot to death, however, it also made since that Wilson felt he was in danger and made his decision.

Well tempers flared during the last three months since Brown's shooting. Indeed I was already under the impression that there were already some rioting. Indeed larger than the basic race argument that's being made again here is that the nation opened their eyes to this idea of the militarization of the police in America.

I've been seeing the meme "black lives don't matter" or I've seen the meme comparing other white mass murdered who have been apprehended but lethal force or even over prosecution for those Blacks who have murdered no one. I recognize these for what they are soundbites and they make for great TV news coverage and certainly to stir up passions.

So far my choice is to stay impassioned because I recognize how easy talking about race in this situation is. My conclusion is that many people just stop at the fact that a white police officer killed a young Black male. We all know the history of interactions between police authorities and minorities in this country. It hasn't always been fair and peaceful, however, it seems to be a recurring theme even if the story is clear.

A grand jury last night chose not to indict Officer Wilson that's why not only rioting occured in Ferguson but demonstrations occurred around the nation. Even here in Chicago were there some demonstrations that shutdown Lake Shore Drive.

Right now passions about what happened in this Missouri city is back up. I hope things calm down in Ferguson - that is we put in jail those who were only out to cause trouble and not truly protest any injustice. And if necessary we can truly investigate the Brown shooting and hopefully more facts about what happened between police and Brown will come to light.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Marion Barry has passed away

You know I thought of the late former Washington, DC Mayor Marion Barry as a useless politico. I've seen a number of tributes to him as controversial but lauding his contributions.

It's still easy for me to judge him for what brought him out of office which was him getting caught taking a hit of crack in a hotel room. Also I remember him on Meet the Press sweating over the issues that were pressing the nation's capital city. It didn't leave me with a good impression.

So as of this moment, I need to take stock of his legacy people are talking about. What I can say is that after his last term as Mayor, DC is certainly a different city now that's changing more and more. In addition until his death he served on the Washington, DC city council.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Bring back Illinois' governor's mansion

Mattheux Photo - flikr
I may have written about this a few times and now it's time to talk about it again.

Over the years, the issue of the Governor of Illinois living in Springfield the state capital has come up from time to time. Our Ousted governor - convicted felon Rod Blagojevich - chose to avoid staying there during his time in office. His successor and former Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn made noise about staying in the governor's mansion in Springfield although it appears he didn't follow through.

Now that we will have a new governor next January this issue has come up again. Governor-elect Bruce Rauner has pledged to use private funds to fully restore Illinois' Governor's mansion. Reportedly the mansion is a victim of a leaking roof and a flooding basement.

[VIDEO] The video above from the The State Journal-Register out of Springfield is from almost five years ago regarding the state of the governor's mansion. You can also watch this video from the Illinois Channel regarding the governor's mansion.

BTW, for the Illinois Channel program you made need to download a java plug-in. Unfortunately they have yet to upload that program to their YouTube channel and I hope they do even if this program was from almost 5 years ago.

Anyway, there is a perception that those who must work in Springfield especially our many election officials from the executive branch to the General Assembly to the state Supreme Court they want to get out of there when their work is down. It's as if there's nothing down there to keep them downstate.

Although it's not like Springfield has literally nothing. Personally all I've done is pass through the state capital back and forth when I've taken Amtrak trips to Dallas, Texas. It's one of my goals to visit this historic city and there's no excuse since I don't even have to leave this state.

As a matter of fact when Conan O'Brien came to Chicago a few years ago he paid a visit to Springfield. He's a confessed Abraham Lincoln admirer and that figured in his visit then.

Let's hope Governor-elect Rauner will spend as much time in Springfield to "bring back Illinois".

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Capitol Fax: Cross concedes

The last bit of business of concluding the 2014 elections was the treasurer's race and it seems for a while that former state House Republican leader Tom Cross would remain in the lead. After all the counting of all ballots (mostly votes in Cook County) have given state Sen. Mike Frerichs the win for state Treasurer.

So not that it's a big deal, but three statewide offices are in Republicans hands and three are in Democrat hands. Governor & Lt. Governor (this is the first election both offices are elected on the same ticket in the primary) and state Comptroller are Republican. Secretary of State, Attorney General and now Treasurer are in Democrat hands.

Cross has conceded the race.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Adventures in getting connected online...

I like to state that I've been fooling around with the internet for many years in the pre-Facebook - Twitter - Instagram - Myspace years. The internet of the late 1990s was so low-tech I often wondered if my teenaged-self head would explode with what the internet offers day.

Most people years ago connected via dial-up and only recently did my home get connected with DSL broadband. Dial-up was cheap broadband wasn't and thankfully DSL prices went down - even if introductory - to the point where I felt comfortable going for it.

All the same that doesn't mean things don't happen to the point where you'd have to call for help. I'm learning that even DSL is headed towards being obsolete. Since my DSL service is through AT&T now I'm learning about U-verse which is supposed to be fast internet as opposed to DSL although Uverse is DSL of some sort.

Anyway it's a bit of a hassle to even get tech support via AT&T because if you have a problem with service as I have then they might decide well that's an opportunity to upgrade. The only thing is all you want is the possibility of a restoration of service. In that instance even getting a new modem seems out of the question as I had been told.

So regardless after seeing how difficult it can be to get through the AT&T sales pitch and finally get some internet service restored and was told finally that we should just get another DSL modem for now. It took time to get service back and while I'm confident in my ability to do things on my own I was forced to call AT&T to get my new modem up and running.

I'm really glad I did and after almost three days offline I'm back on the web. All I needed was to use the correct password to get back to where I wanted to be. That means more activity on the PC and away from my various mobile devices.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

I've started to wonder something lately...

I've often found myself very concerned about my job hunting streak which ended last month. While I'm still learning my new position it something hits me.

No matter what you think you want to do there are always risks and trade-offs. Some have found another job found it not to be the right fit or otherwise it doesn't seem to work out. Then they quit and find something else.

You start a new job and you find out it wasn't the right fit for whatever skills you might have or even your personality. That does happen sometimes and what also happens is that eventually if you stay with a job long enough it will change on you inspite of your time and it's no longer a good fit.

Then what do you do?

Well they say the time to fit in at a job is at least 90 days. That's fine, but it's not often that someone may find a job a bad fit within the first week or first month or so. In fact, I honestly felt that way about another job I had once it was badly organized and the fit of ego in me is convinced that I could've organized that place better.

Either way if you feel this way after 90 days or you feel this way after a week it's always necessary to keep looking. When I finally got a job offer after so much time of looking to be honest I didn't really respond to anyone else. Sometimes that's a mistake because who knows where else the opportunity comes in.

BTW, this sets up another post but that will wait for another time.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


You know now that I've finally found a new job it's just time to take stock of some things. This is an issue that has come up recently and while you're new it's perfectly natural to feel out a new position.

Now my inventory will be different from anyone else's but hopefully there are some constants.

For example, if you're changing jobs why? Is it because you wanted to make a change? What needed to change? Is it management or environment?

Another example, what were you looking for? Better pay, benefits, a different business/industry?

These are certainly questions I need to answer in my own inventory. Perhaps those are what you might have in yours. Hopefully we'll figure some things out as time goes on.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Governor-elect Rauner still reaching out to minorities in Illinois

Gov-elect Bruce Rauner
If I believe this column from Rich Miller, Bruce Rauner may not have won many minority voters in last week's election it may have still helped make him palatable to those who wouldn't normally vote Republican. Conventional wisdom suggests that if you win a significant amount of voters (I've frequently heard at least 20%) a Republican could win statewide in Illinois.

Regardless, Rauner who is the Governor-elect of Illinois who had engaged in outreach to Black communities especially here in Chicago - even going so far as to drive his old-beat up Volkswagen van to a credit union during the campaign on Chicago's south side - is still engaged in outreach. This time visiting a Black church in suburban Maywood and then visiting a bakery in a Latino neighborhood in Chicago
"The good Lord didn't make us Republicans or Democrats," Rauner told parishioners at the Rock of Ages Baptist Church in Maywood, where he had visited while campaigning against Gov. Pat Quinn. "The good Lord made us in his image to do the good Lord's work, to make the world a better place for all families."

Rauner said it was his third appearance at the church and that he "will be back many times."

Next stop on the thank-you tour was Nuevo Leon Bakery in Pilsen.

Rauner was joined by his running mate, Evelyn Sanguinetti.

"The people of Pilsen, the people of Little Village have been very warm to us, very amazing to us throughout the course of the campaign, and we just wanted to say thank you," Sanguinetti said. "This is not the last time you will see us. This is going to be such a great transition because we will be here often."

Rauner loaded up a tray of baked goods, picking a chocolate cupcake for himself, and posed for pictures with bakery workers and customers.
I would look forward to seeing his name in a resolution honoring a long-time eatery where he was frequently a guest. Hopefully one that serves ethnic foods because he believed in getting out there with the people where they were. Time will tell if he will be back in the community many times.

You should see this when you get a chance...

[VIDEO] Dear White People (DWP)

If I didn't know better it was a comedy to me. It's been described as more a dramatic satire than anything else. It's very easy to compare this movie to Spike Lee's School Daze (SD).

Fact is it's an inverted version of Lee's classic. DWP is set at a fictitious Ivy League university and we see how the Black students in this movie cope with life at this predominantly white institution.

SD is basically about life at a fictitious historically black college. In fact that film had been shot at the various universities of the Atlanta University Center (AUC). Although those schools took umbrage at Lee's production and ultimately ordered them away from the respective campuses of the AUC.

Regardless, this film takes a look at the racial things college students engage themselves in. In the news we've seen stories of how white students may try to mock Blacks. We see it nakedly in this movie as if the point was they want to be like "us". Certainly Blacks are a lot more than the stereotypes we run into on the news.

Of course there are plenty of other issues in the movie than the simple conflicts between Blacks & whites and how they interact in an academic environment. We see some internal and interpersonal conflict. For example, a mixed race woman has to come to terms with her white father. A Black male who's had issues with other Blacks because of his sexual orientation. An aspiring Black politician who is still under the thumb of his father who had recently been appointed to a major position at this Ivy League University.

There's a lot of drama and funny moments in this movie to hold your attention. You should give it a chance before it eventually leaves your local cinemas.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

What should I do with my other Instagram account?

Since late July I had been utilizing a 2nd profile - attached to The Sixth Ward - on the social networking site Instagram. Basically it's used for snapshots taken around the neighborhood and sharing ("regram") posts from other ig users. If used for the sharing of information as has been done with The Sixth Ward's ig it's very nifty.

One of the recent posts that have been somewhat newsworthy was the snapshot (seen above and embed below) I had taken of a local hotdog stand - Jim's Original. The stand is located near the 95th terminal of the CTA Red Line and is slated to close as a result of a project to significantly expand the CTA terminal. It had been the closest and easiest place for me to get a Maxwell Street polish sausage.

All the same I've been wondering what is the most effective way to use this social networking program. It probably can't be used the same way I have been able to use The Sixth Ward's Twitter and Facebook pages.

What I can count on is that it has attracted followers from a number of areas. For example both the Twitter & fb pages have attracted some major companies for example Mariano's as many people on Chicago's south side want to attract the newest grocer to this at part of the city.

My ig page has gotten followed by AMC Theatres which I threw a shout-out for that. In addition to that I have followers who include politicians on the local and state level in addition to aspiring activists and of course aspiring businessmen. Even better my ig page is being followed by the Maroon Tiger ig which is the student newspaper of my alma mater Morehouse College.

So the next question. What is the best way to truly utlize this account? Could this be one way to market the south side to any future investors especially any major companies to come to this part of town? Can it be utilized to share important information?

Thursday, November 06, 2014

There is one last race that hasn't been decided yet...

And that race is for state treasurer. This turned out to be the closest race in this state this cycle. The Republican former state house leader Tom Cross is leading against his Democrat challenger state Sen. Mike Frerichs. They're still counting ballots and it appears Mr. Frerichs might be gaining some votes.

I always thought the race for governor in 2014 would be close and appears this was the race every should have their eye one. State treasurer isn't an office that would lead a ticket anyway. Consider four years ago that the closer races was for Governor and US Senate both races were very close.

Think about it Democrat Pat Quinn barely got elected Governor in 2010 and so did Republican Mark Kirk find himself in President Obama's old US Senate seat. This time the close race was down ballot.